Over the last few decades, holiday-themed "special" episodes have become as crucial to the network television landscape as sweeps and season finale cliffhangers. At their best they leave Halloween memories and costume hacks (we're talking to you, Three Hole Punch Jim) for years to come, and at their worst, well, at least there's always next week.
We're focusing on the former category, here, so below find the 17 most awesomely memorable Halloween episodes in television history:
17. "The Rocky Horror Glee Show"
Just kidding, this episode was horrible. We're here for Chris Colfer as Riff Raff and of course the singing, but boy, was this the beginning of the end for "Glee" as we once knew it. Let's move on.
16. "Haunted" from "The Vampire Diaries"
"Haunted" was the first legitimately great episode of "The Vampire Diaries." When many CW-watchers were about ready to pull the plug after week six, in came the Halloween episode to kill off a supposedly main character, ramp up Damon Salvatore as a villain, and drastically change the emotional direction of the show. Also, with everybody decked out in Halloween attire and Vampire Vicky terrorizing the town, it stands on its own as a Halloween special.
15. "Who Got Dee Pregnant?" from "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"
This episode was great for many reasons, but the change in perspective and increasing levels of drunkenness eventually leading to the guys seeing Dee as an ostrich was an excellent culmination to a years-old joke.
14. "Spooky Endings" from "Happy Endings"
Every single plot line in "Spooky Endings" was a winner. Penny and Max trying to pick up dudes while wearing their "Mommy and Baby" costume was hilarious, Jane and Brad's suburban story was a nightmare, and Alex's drag queen moment proved once and for all that, yes, Elisha Cuthbert can actually be funny.
13. "Halloween" from "Modern Family"
One of the best post-season-one episodes of "Family" reminded us that we should never, ever visit the Dunphy family house during Halloween. Though if we do, at least we'll get to see Cam's severed head, and Haley as "slutty Mother Teresa."
12. "This is a Dark Ride" from "Pretty Little Liars"
"PLL" has had three Halloween outings, but only "Dark Ride" featured an Adam Lambert performance and Lucy Hale nearly getting pushed off a train while stuck in a crate with a corpse.
11. "Halloweenie" from "The Adventures of Pete and Pete"
Every '90s kid who remembers what it felt like to be uncool remembers "Halloweenie." "Pete and Pete" was great at talking to kids without being condescending, and -- much like its network buddy "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" -- it created memorably scary images for kids like the Pumpkin Eaters.
10. "Halloween Part 2" from "American Horror Story: Murder House"
The first season of "American Horror Story" (remember when we didn't know that it was going to be an anthology?) took a while to rev up, but once it did, we were hooked. The two-part Halloween episode excelled during its second half, particularly when the ghosts were allowed to leave the house, which led to Tate (Evan Peters) being confronted by the spirits of the high school students he murdered.
9. "Meet n Greet" and "Halloween Surprise" from "Parks and Recreation"
"Parks and Rec" has done a few great Halloween episodes -- who can forget "Greg Pikitis" -- but "Meet n Greet" and "Halloween Surprise" win mainly because of Orin, and of course Jerry's "fart attack."
8. "It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester" from Supernatural
Jensen Ackles was at his comedic best during this Halloween outing, which found a sexy Halloween costumed witch ("Pretty Little Liars"/"Spring Breakers" star Ashley Benson) making high school blood sacrifices to summon an ancient Celtic demon. Fun stuff!
7. "Slutty Pumpkin" from "How I Met Your Mother"
Katie Holmes' highly buzzed appearance as the titular Pumpkin didn't come until years later in "Slutty Pumpkin Returns," but the original Slutty Pumpkin story came during season one and was a much better episode.
6. "Halloween" from "The Office"
Between Michael's torturous firing of Devon ("I just hope that you and I can remain friends"), the early-years flirtation between Jim and Pam, and just seeing the whole gang in costume, "Halloween" was a winner.
5. "Fear Itself" from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
Fun fact: the fraternity house used in "Fear Itself" -- an excellent outing that found the gang confronting their worst fears, like Anya's famous one of bunnies -- is also the "Murder House" from the first season of "American Horror Story."
4. "Trick or Treat" from "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
"I didn't know that it was going to be felony or treat. I didn't know the trick extended to felonies!"
3. "Tricks and Treats" from "Freaks and Geeks"
The moment when Lindsay accidentally eggs Sam is heartbreakingly wonderful, as is Becky Ann Baker's performance as she comes to the tough realization that her kids don't want to spend the day with her on Halloween.
2. "Epidemiology" from "Community"
"Epidemiology" was a brilliantly written, hilarious ode to zombie movies, set to the music of ABBA. Donald Glover is fantastic as the "first black man to make it to the end." Watch it. Period.
1. "Treehouse of Horror V" from "The Simpsons"
There have been a crazy number of "Treehouse of Horrors" by now -- in fact, number 25 just aired last week -- but the fifth iteration featured "The Shinning," effectively letting us know once and for all that "no TV and no beer make Homer go crazy."